MCS, the Nose and Aromatherapy

Cort

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Check this out. Ace ME/CFS researcher and olfactory specialist Jame Baraniuk mentions aromatherapy in a 2009 paper. I did his spinal tap and proteome trial He is very interesting in how the receptors in the nose function and their connection to MCS. He thinks it's much more complex than most people think theory is that nerve inflammation by chemicals triggers responses in the brain: ie MCS).

He's found that ME/CFS and control patients have markedly different rates of mucosal flow in the nose when stimulated. That paper got almost no notice however but again it suggests a hyper-reactive situation is present. Notice as well that he's focused on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Acta Clin Croat. 2009 Mar;48(1):65-73.Links. New concepts of neural regulation in human nasal mucosa Baraniuk JN, Merck SJ. Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20007-2197, USA. baraniuj@georgetown.edu

Nasal mucosa is innervated by multiple subsets of nociceptive, parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves. These play carefully coordinated roles in regulating glandular, vascular and other processes. These functions are vital for cleaning and humidifying ambient air before it is inhaled into the lungs. The recent recognition of distinct classes of nociceptive nerves with unique patterns of sensory receptors ....has revolutionized our understanding of the complexity and subtlety of nasal innervation.
These findings may provide a rational basis for responses to air temperature changes, culinary and botanical odorants ("aromatherapy"), and inhaled irritants in conditions as diverse as idiopathic nonallergic rhinitis, occupational rhinitis, hyposmia, and multiple chemical sensitivity.
'Idiopathic non allergic rhinitus' - rhinitus that is not associated with allergy. That reminds me of hypersensitivity to food that is not associated with allergy - that concept that you can have a bad reaction to food that is not based on anaphylaxis - which the medical profession just doesn't seem to get (altho they are getting better). Once they get this type of reaction we'll be in good shape I think.

Interesting - Baraniuk and aromatherapy - wonder what he thinks about it. Can aromatherapy be used to treat MCS? Gotta try to get his paper.
 

Sushi

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There are also a lot of us who get phantom odors! Have you heard about this? I thought I was the only one smelling things that weren't there, then I read that it is common. I have found that different phantom odors seem to correlate with how well I am feeling.

At first I thought it was some detox mechanism where the body was spitting out old toxins, but I no longer think so.

Does anyone else notice anything similar, sort of the brain generating its own phantom aromatherapy? This disease is so weird!

Sushi
 

Lisa

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Hello Sushi!

I was wondering if you could explain the phantom odors more. How do you know they are phantom? Mine and Jeremy's sense of smell has become heightened to several types of odors as a side effect of the MCS. There are a lot of things we smell that others do not, but from being able to confer with each other we know the odor is real.

There are times though when one of us will smell something that the other does not and a phantom odor would be one possible option in these times.

Thanks,
Lisa :)
 

Sushi

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Hi Lisa,

The things I smell have no possible source in the environment I am in--for instance for quite a while I smell a string pine smell--I live on a tiny island in the ocean where there are only palms. Then there are different perfumes that just aren't there. And I will smell different odors strongly within hours, when nothing has changed, no one has entered my home etc. It is quite fascinating!

Some odors seem to be associated with something that I am doing which is healing, others I have no idea.

So, that is about all I can say. Rich Van K once wrote something about this.

Sushi
 

Cort

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I'll bet there's a fascinating article on this in some neurology book somewhere. I know Oliver Sacks has written about people who hear sounds or songs that aren't there. Some how some neural memory gets triggered I guess. Amazing stuff!
 

Lisa

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It does make some sense. There are so many times that a person can smell something and it triggers memories (like baking bread making you think of mom in the kitchen when you were 5), it seems like it could go the other way. A different sense like sound or touch, evoking a memory of an odor. Or perhaps a memory instead doing the same thing.

Sushi, maybe you should try jotting down what you were thinking of right before smelling the phantom smell? It would be a hoot if it actually turned out to be a cause/effect relationship. :D

Lisa :)